|Modern train in Gaucin station|
Gaucin railway station
Gaucin railway station located in the hamlet of El Colmenar in the Guadiaro river valley, 8km from Gaucin village - 20 minutes' drive on a windy mountain road. The train station in the centre of the village is called Gaucin or 'Estacion de Gaucin'.
|Geraniums decorate the station platform|
A sub-district of Cortes de la Frontera, not Gaucin, this is in a very peaceful location deep in the Guadiaro valley. The name should not be confused with the village of El Colmenar in Axarquia. The railway is the direct connection between El Colmenar and Cortes de la Frontera, whilst both road routes require a steep and windy climb up from the valley bottom, along the mountain ridge and then back down again.
A small community has built up here around the railway station and the Hydro-Electric station which has an unusual brick 'house of horrors' .
The Cañon de los Buitres, a natural monument, is nearby on the Guadiaro river. There is an interesting signed walk to Cortes de la Frontera along the side of the Cañon. Puente de Los Alemanes is a high, open-sided stone bridge on the walk and should not to be crossed by the faint-hearted. The walk also features a small tunnel.
Downstream from El Colmenar is a small dam in the Guadiaro river so that children and families can swim in summer, without having to travel to the coast.
In front of the train station, a paved area makes up for the lack of a village square, with a couple of local bars. This outdoor scene is popular with villagers, particularly on fine Sundays; the town is a quiet, rural place where you can tie up your horse outside the bar.
If you have arrived in El Colmenar by car from Gaucin, and don't fancy turning back, you can continue onwards along the paved forest track via the Parque de Alcornocales through cork-oak forests and eventually reaching Cortes de la Frontera. This is a particularly beautiful route - you will pass the Estacion Forestal and closed visitor centre.
|Caserio Ananda served hearty food cooked using their own home-grown veg. The restaurant, now sadly closed, is located in the cargo shed.|
There are three trains a day in each direction for Algeciras, and Ronda with links to Granada. The station is manned and in good condition with ticket office, waiting room, and toilets. Only one of the two platforms is currently used; there is a vehicle level crossing at one end of it.
In the original brick goods shed, with a circular window in the pitched-roof gable, at one end of the platform, like others on the line was leased by Adif to run a delightful restaurant called Caserio Ananda. It opened in 2007 and sadly it closed in 2015 and is now deserted.
This Indian word Aranda was dedicated to the original popular name of the station, 'La Indiana', from the colonial-Indian look of the station buildings.
|Room with a view from the dining table|
Fiona Flores Watson reported on dining here in the blog.
|Home made chocolate cake at Caserio Ananda - utterly delicious!|
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Hotel Hospedería Las Buitreras in El Colmenar features a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a garden. Featuring a terrace, the 1-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The property has a restaurant. At the hotel, the rooms are fitted with a wardrobe. A buffet breakfast can be enjoyed at the property.
The original 1892 station building is still used, housing the waiting room and ticket office. The single-storey pitched-roof white building has the traditional Andalucian yellow trim around doors and windows, and is well-maintained, complete with hanging flower pots. You can still see the 19th-century Linley & Co of Birmingham Improved Platform Lamp iron wall brackets, as well as the original base of the water tower for the steam engines and the cast iron swivell mount filling spouts.
|Henderson's water tank spout to fill up the thirsty steam engines|
There is a wood-fringed canopy attached to the building, supported on wrought-iron pillars spanning the adjacent platform. This canopy gives the station an 'anglo', or some would say colonial Indian, look.
Read about Mr Henderson's Railway
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